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Skill shortages hurting

SKILLED staff shortages are starting to bite – even in the recruitment industry.

Recruitment & Consulting Services Association president and Technical Resources managing director Nick Iustini said the approach of multi-nationals was largely to blame.

He said the general recruitment sector had a staff turnover of around 40 per cent.

“A lot of multinationals have unrealistic expectations of their consultants,” Mr Iustini said.

“Someone in Houston or London sets a target. If you don’t meet it you’re gone.”

Mr Iustini said the situation would not change until there was a global shift in thinking.

“The industry seems to accept this enormously high churn rate,” he said.

Mr Iustini said it was always hard to get good staff, particularly in technical areas.

“In the technical area we want people who are ex-industry. People who know what process engineers and civil engineers are talking about.

“We need to find people who are looking for a career change and train them up. However, once we get them, we are usually able to keep them.”

Bell Personnel managing director David Anderson said the industry was experiencing

a shortage of skilled and experienced recruitment consultants.

“I think it stems from a lack of people training for the industry,” Mr Anderson said.

“There seems to be a lack of knowledge and understanding about the importance of this industry to business.

“Courses by recruitment industry bodies seem to be well attended – but mostly by people already in the industry.”

Mr Anderson said the low unemployment rate was also contributing to the squeeze.

However, the squeeze on skilled staff is spreading across most industries.

“Skilled staff shortages often occur when business confidence and activity is high,” Mr Anderson said.

“We’re as busy as we’ve ever been.”

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